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Another “Fabulous” Vintage of Shafer’s Inimitable “Relentless” Syrah - 11/24/2017 - Syrah (domestic)

Always a darling among the critics, the 2014 Shafer “Relentless” Syrah is yet another spellbinding vintage for this truly remarkable wine. For those who crave richness, depth, power, range, and an indomitable personality in their Syrah, this 2014 delivers in spades. Antonio Galloni called the 2014 the “most expressive” when compared to other vintages, and indications show that Wine Advocate is due for some big marks once they get their hands on it. History tells us it’s not wise to wait for that press or you might miss it entirely. As one would expect, ripe, fleshy red and black fruits take center stage with an excellent supporting cast of wild flowers, peppery spice, porcini mushroom, and forest floor. For all its vim and vigor, the ‘Relentless” is very approachable in its youth, making it a terrific wine to enjoy in the near term. Always among the most highly rated (and most anticipated) Syrahs out of Napa Valley, this is not question the 2014 is a must-have bottling and one that will charm for many years to come.

Also available from Shafer, is the 99-point 2013 “Hillside Select.” Among the most impressive bottlings from a historic vintage, it is a centerpiece for collectors of Napa’s elite. As with the other top-tier 2013s, quantities are diminishing quickly, so don’t delay in secure your bottles today.

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2014 Shafer "Relentless" Napa Valley Syrah ($89.99)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Checking in as a blend of 89% Syrah and 11% Petit Sirah, the 2014 Syrah Relentless is a killer bottle of wine that offers decadent notes of blackcurrants, barbecued meats, seaweed wrapper, lavender, exotic pepper, and liquid smoke. This is a rich, unctuous Rhône inspired blend that packs serious amounts of fruit and richness, yet the elegant, forward style of the vintage keeps it silky, polished and incredibly drinkable. While I haven't had every vintage of this cuvee (it was first made in 1999), my money is on this being up with the top handful of vintages. It's a blockbuster today (if youre oak adverse, give bottles 2-3 years) but will keep for two decades." (12/2017)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Relentless, made up of 89% Syrah and 11% Petite Sirah, is deep garnet-purple with a pronounced nose of black plums, blackberries and black cherries with touches of fragrant earth, black pepper and Indian spices plus a waft of lavender. Very big, full-bodied, opulent and laden with vibrant black fruits and spicy layers, it has firm, rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and peppery. 95+ points. (LPB)" (01/2018)

94 points Vinous: "The 2014 Relentless is just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel. Inky, voluptuous and wonderfully vivid, the 2014 has so much to offer. A rush of inky blue/purplish fruit, exotic spice and floral notes build into the powerful, brooding finish. Two thousand fourteen is an exceptional vintage for Relentless, Shafer's Syrah/Petite Sirah blend. (AG)" (01/2018)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This perennial powerhouse of a wine is a blend of 89% Syrah and 11% Petite Sirah, aged 30 months in 100% new French oak. It offers a hard-hitting intensity of stewed plum, cherry and buttery vanilla, with thick, structured tannins that are firm and integrated. Meat, black licorice and black pepper combine effortlessly and should shine bright after aging. Enjoy from 2029 and beyond. *Cellar Selection* (VB)" (03/2018)

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2013 Shafer "Hillside Select" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon ($319.00)

99 points James Suckling: "Wonderful floral aromas with perfumed roses plus hints of blackcurrants and spearmint. Full-bodied and so powerful and muscular but always showing the brightness and beauty of fruit. Winemakers say this reminds them of the 1978, their first year. It certainly has the structure "those tannins" as they put it. Finish is so impressive with tar, iron and spices." (01/2018)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select will probably hit the magic three-digit score, but it is a more backward style of wine, although probably even more concentrated than the 2012, and thats saying something. Fabulous potential of 30-50 years is evident in this profound bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that is inky blue/black to the rim and offers up notes of charcoal embers, scorched earth, blackberries, cassis, blueberries, a hint of coffee, and background barrique smells. Massively concentrated but incredibly elegant and poised, this is a wine of great energy and vibrancy. It is fabulously deep, built like a skyscraper, and set for an incredibly long life. Try not to consume a bottle for at least another 4-5 years and then watch the magic unfold. (RP) 98+" (10/2016)

98 points Wine Enthusiast: "Among the Napa Valley's most crowning achievements in Cabernet, this vintage of Hillside Select is stunning, bright and beguiling in every way. Intensely layered, its interwoven flavors burst in black licorice, dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, gun smoke and garrigue. Spicy oak adds to the power and weight. Drinkable now, it will show even greater finesse in time; enjoy best 20232033 and possibly beyond. *Cellar Selection* (VB)" (04/2018)

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: "All Cabernet aged 32 months in new French oak, the flagship 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is a beauty that offers just about everything you could want out of wine. Blackcurrants, scorched earth, smoky oak and spice aromatics all give way to a full-bodied, concentrated, structured 2013 that has incredible fruit intensity, yet never seems heavy, over the top, or cumbersome in any way. It needs 4-5 years of cellaring and is going to keep for two to three decades." (12/2017)

97 points Vinous: "Just bottled a few months before this tasting, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Readers will have to be patient with this big, tannic Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2013 doesn't have the sensuality of the 2012 nor the silkiness of the 2011. Instead, the 2013 is a dense, vertical wine that needs at least a few years of cellaring. This is an intensely savory, mineral driven vintage for Shafer's flagship Cabernet Sauvignon. (AG) 97+" (12/2016)